Originally created 12/28/96

McDill named new airport director



Albert McDill of Syracuse, N.Y., overcame questions about some of his past jobs to be voted in Friday as the new director of Augusta's Bush Field airport.

Augusta Aviation Commission members met in a special meeting and voted unanimously for Mr. McDill, 52, who has more than 20 years experience in airport management.

Mr. McDill's experience in running the many facets of airport operation, including negotiating leases, dealing with airlines and running a maintenance operation put him ahead of two other finalists, said Commission Chairman Edward B. Skinner.

"Al has the experience we need to have in Augusta," Mr. Skinner said.

"I think Mr. McDill is extremely well-qualified, too," said commission member Frank Dennis.

Mr. McDill will be offered a contract in "the 70-thousand range" similar to retiring Airport Director Steve Atha's salary, Mr. Skinner said. Mr. McDill will come to town next Wednesday and officially take over on Thursday, after he signs a contract and meets with the commission.

Most recently, Mr. McDill worked as a consultant with the Syracuse airport to bring in another airline that provided direct flight service to Orlando, Fla., an experience he said may be helpful for Augusta. He has served as airport director for Jefferson County Airport in Beaumont, Texas, Sarasota-Bradenton (Fla.) International Airport and served as a consultant to King Khaled International Airport in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Questions raised about his resignation in Sarasota were attributable to warring political forces at that airport, and a short stint in Dayton, Ohio, was due to a boss wanting to keep quiet certain policies uncovered by Mr. McDill, Mr. Skinner said.

Reached at home, Mr. McDill said he was glad to put those questions behind him and get to Augusta.

"Fortunately, (the commission) was willing to look into the matters that were brought up and were able to be comfortable with those (matters)," Mr. McDill said.

He said he would not jump to any conclusions about what needed to be done and would wait to make his own judgments once he got here. But one reason he wanted to come to Augusta is to follow in the footsteps of former airport director Hamp Manning.

"I knew Hamp Manning and was a great admirer of Hamp Manning," Mr. McDill said, particularly the design he left behind at Bush Field. It "has an atmosphere that reflects what Augusta and The Masters (Tournament) is all about."

A look at the career of Albert McDill, who was hired Friday as director of Bush Field.

  • 1973-75, assistant airport manager, Columbus (Ga.) Airport.
  • 1976-1980, airport manager, Jefferson County Airport, Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas.
  • 1981-89, executive director, Sarasota-Bradenton (Fla.) International Airport.
  • 1990-93, planning specialist, King Khaled International Airport, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
  • 1994-95, business manager, Hancock International Airport, Syracuse, N.Y.